Life Care Center of Kona New Visitation Information
Life Care Center of Kona

New Visitation Information

Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation in Kailua-Kona, HI

Updated: Wednesday, March 17, 6:50 a.m. HST

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised guidelines for nursing home visitation this past week. Resident and staff safety will continue to be at the forefront of Life Care of Kona's visitation protocols. Please note that there are still identified circumstances where visitation could be paused. For example, if one resident or staff tests positive for COVID-19, visits will be paused until all outbreak testing protocols have been completed. Other factors for consideration of a pause in visitation include the county positivity rate and the percentage of vaccinated residents.

CMS guidelines state that visits should be conducted based on the facility's structure and residents' needs. Regardless of how visits are conducted, certain core principles and best practices reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention are as follows:

  • Screening of all who enter the facility for signs and symptoms and denial of entry to those with signs or symptoms or those who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days (regardless of the visitor's vaccination status).
  • Hand hygiene (use of alcohol-based hand rub is preferred).
  • Face covering or mask (covering mouth and nose).
  • Social distancing at least six feet between persons.
  • Instructional signage throughout the facility and proper visitor education on COVID-19 signs and symptoms, infection control precautions and other applicable facility practices.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-frequency touched surfaces in the facility often and designated visitation areas after each visit.
  • Appropriate staff use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Effective cohorting of residents.
  • Resident and staff testing conducted as required.

These core principles are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for nursing homes and should be adhered to at all times. Visitors who are unable to adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention should not be permitted to visit or should be asked to leave. By following a person-centered approach and adhering to these core principles, visitation can occur safely based on the following guidance:

  • Outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow.
  • Facilities should consider the number of visitors per resident at one time and the total number of visitors in the facility at one time.
  • During indoor visitation, facilities should limit visitor movement in the facility. For example, visitors should not walk around different halls of the facility. Rather, they should go directly to the resident's room or designated visitation area.
  • Visits for residents who share a room should not be conducted in the resident's room, if possible.

Note: CMS and CDC continue to recommend that facilities, residents and families adhere to the core principles of COVID-19 infection control, including physical distancing (maintaining at least six feet between people). This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly if either party has not been fully vaccinated. However, we acknowledge the toll that separation and isolation have taken. We also acknowledge that there is no substitute for physical contact, such as the warm embrace between a resident and their loved one. Therefore, if the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitting face mask and performing hand-hygiene before and after. Regardless, visitors should physically distance from other residents and staff in the facility.

While we are grateful to embrace the new normal, Life Care of Kona will gradually open its doors to visitors, while ensuring we are able to meet infection control practices set forth by CMS, CDC and our local and state health departments. To meet these criteria and ensure the safety of our community, we have set the following parameters above and beyond CMS and CDC recommendations:

  • Scheduled indoor visits will begin on Monday, March 22.
  • Visiting hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 7 days per week.
  • You and your family may decide if you would like the visit to be outdoors or indoors.
  • Visits should be scheduled with the receptionist. Please call 808-322-2790 to schedule your visit.
  • Indoor visits will be held in the designated front lobby area. (If your loved one is unable to be transported to the lobby, other arrangements will be made.)
  • Visitors will be limited to 2 persons per resident at a time. Visitors must be 16 years or older. If you have more than 2 people or young children, you may still do window visits and utilize facility iPads for communication.
  • Visits will be limited to 30 minutes to allow all residents the opportunity to safely visit with their loved ones.
  • Visitors will be screened, must wear a mask fully covering their mouth and nose at all times (no eating or drinking during visits) and must use proper hand hygiene.
  • Compassionate care visits and exceptions to the parameters above will continue to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

We will keep you apprised of any facility or governmental changes to these protocols. COVID is an ever-changing health crisis, and changes can occur quickly, with minimal notice. We appreciate your understanding and your cooperation. Everyone has done an exceptional job of keeping the kupuna of Life Care Center of Kona protected from the perils of this pandemic!

Meredith Eder, Executive Director

Life Care Center of Kona

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